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    Quick Drive: 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR


    • The Nissan Versa Note, NOW WITH MORE SPORT*

       

      *Sporty Looks

    The Nissan Versa Note is a competent subcompact. I know, that sounds like damning praise. But the Versa Note has a lot of good points to it. The model is efficient on fuel, has loads of space, and comes with a fair amount of tech features for the low price. But the Versa Note is a bit dull in terms of design. Nissan has decided to address this issue by introducing the Versa Note SR. This model boasts a number of sporty touches to make the Versa Note more appealing. Let's see if this fixes the dullness problem.

     

    The SR treatment begins on the exterior with new fascias, side sills, headlights, and a set of 16-inch alloy wheels. Paired with the breadbox van shape of the Versa Note, the SR model makes the Note a bit more interesting to look at. Inside, Nissan has fitted suede seats with an orange accent stripe running down the middle. Not only are the seats very stylish, they provide excellent levels of comfort. Also new is a updated version of NissanConnect, the company’s infotainment system. The system boasts an improved interface that makes it easier to find things and offers the ability to use applications via your smartphone. Finishing the inside are a new instrument cluster and shiny plastics for the center stack which makes the interior less dull.

     

    If you’re expecting any changes to powertrain or suspension, prepare to be disappointed. The Versa Note SR retains the 1.6L four-cylinder with 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. The only transmission on offer is Nissan’s XTronic CVT. The engine is quite comfortable around urban environments as it gets up to speed quickly and without a fuss. On the expressway, the engine feels out of place as it struggles to get up speed at a decent clip. Adding more problems is the extensive noise coming engine and CVT. Meanwhile, the suspension is great at isolating bumps and providing a comfortable ride, but not so much at keeping body motions in check when cornering.

     

    So has the SR trim made the Versa Note less dull? Yes. The changes inside and out give the Versa Note a bit of style that was missing from the standard model. While I do wish Nissan had made some changes to the engine and suspension amp the sporty attitude, many buyers will be happy with just the looks.

     

    Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Versa Note, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

     

     

    Year: 2015
    Make: Nissan
    Model: Versa Note
    Trim: SR
    Engine: 1.6L DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: CVT, Front-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 109 @ 6,000
    Torque @ RPM: 107 @ 4,400
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 31/40/35
    Curb Weight: 2,523 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Aguascalientes, Mexico
    Base Price: $17,530
    As Tested Price: $19,180 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge)

     

    Options:
    SR Convenience Package - $680.00
    Carpeted Floor Mats and Cargo Mat - $180.00

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    My wife drove one of these (not the SR, but a regular base Versa Note with the CVT) when we were shopping for her new-to-her car. She liked it a fair amount, but the drivetrain was where it kind of fell on its face. We would've been looking at a manual trans version if we'd been impressed enough to consider one, and that probably would've helped, but it just could really use a bit more power. It's a good value car, but we ended up with a Chevy Sonic that beats it in comfort & refinement, and with the 1.4T + 6sp manual, beats it handily in giddyup and being fun to drive.  We liked the Versa Note, but we couldn't quite love it.

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    My wife drove one of these (not the SR, but a regular base Versa Note with the CVT) when we were shopping for her new-to-her car. She liked it a fair amount, but the drivetrain was where it kind of fell on its face. We would've been looking at a manual trans version if we'd been impressed enough to consider one, and that probably would've helped, but it just could really use a bit more power. It's a good value car, but we ended up with a Chevy Sonic that beats it in comfort & refinement, and with the 1.4T + 6sp manual, beats it handily in giddyup and being fun to drive.  We liked the Versa Note, but we couldn't quite love it.

     

    I've liked the Sonic a lot since it came out. If the RS trim had a power bump instead of terribly aggressive gearing (6th gear turns 3500 rpm @ 60 mph, 34 mpg highway as result) I would probably be driving one now.

     

    What kind of mileage are you getting with your stick shift Sonic turbo?

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    I believe my wife has been getting around 35mpg. That's mostly doing 80mph on the interstate at high elevation (~4k ft). Wife commutes 25-30 miles each way daily in it, and only about 3 miles each way isn't interstate, and that's still mostly country road doing 45-55.

     

    Picked the car up about 2 months ago. 2013 with just under 34K miles for $11,345. Zero problems so far, and I was happy with how easy the oil change was on it.  My only complaint is low end power, especially with the AC on. Once you learn to goose it a bit to overcome that, it's not a big deal, but it's easy to nearly stall it from a stop with the AC on if you're not in the right mindset.

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      View full article
    • By William Maley
      When I go back and look at the various Kia Optimas I have driven for Cheers & Gears, there has been one variant that I haven’t driven, the 2.0L turbo-four. But this changed back over the summer when a 2016 Kia Optima SXL came into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit bureau for a week-long evaluation. The SXL serves as the Optima’s flagship trim with more premium materials and the turbo-four.
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      Year: 2016
      Make: Kia
      Model: Optima
      Trim: SXL
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 245 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,350-4,000 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/25
      Curb Weight: 3,594 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: West Point, Georgia
      Base Price: $35,790
      As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      N/A
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